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A $250 Reliable Pistol? Yep, And It’s Perfect For Home Defense

A $250 Reliable Pistol? Yep, And It’s Perfect For Home Defense

Image source: Smith & Wesson Forum

One of the most important firearms to have in your home defense arsenal is a reliable handgun. I would even go as far as to say that owning a handgun is more important than a shotgun, simply because you can conceal it on your person and travel with it.

That said, you’re going to be very limited in choices if you’re on a tight budget. Fortunately, you have a few solid options. In fact, if you have only $250 or so to spend right now, there is a specific pistol that could be just what you’re looking for (and no, it’s not a Hi-Point).

It’s the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2 in 9mm (or the PT140 in .40 S&W). Yes, Taurus has had a blotchy reputation in the past, but their Generation 2 line of guns released in 2013 is widely regarded as having massive improvements over previous models in nearly everything: ergonomics, build quality, reliability and accuracy.

The PT111 G2, in particular, is a versatile little handgun that could be used for a variety of purposes, including concealed carry, home defense or as a disaster scenario sidearm. The primary reason for this is its size. The PT111 G2 is a compact gun, which means it can be concealed on your person very easily; the total length of the gun is just under six and a half inches, and weight clocks in at a light 22 ounces.

Despite its small size, the PT111 G2 still packs enough firepower to defend your home and family against multiple attackers. It holds 12+1 rounds of 9mm Luger, while the PT140 holds 10+1 rounds of .40 S&W.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

Moving on to the features of the gun, the PT111 G2 has a nice ergonomic grip with aggressive stippling on the sides, allowing you to get a secure grip on the weapon even if your hands are wet or slippery.

Not only does the PT111 G2 feature a Glock-style blade safety on the front of the trigger, but it also features a manual thumb safety mounted in the right side of the frame. While there’s nothing wrong with having a safety on a firearm you use for home defense or concealed carry, it’s important that you always remember to flick that safety off when presenting the weapon to shoot. It would be wise to train by conducting multiple, repetitive drills of drawing the PT111 G2 and flicking the safety off when you do so in order for this to become muscle memory.

One thing that makes the PT111 G2 unique compared to other striker-fired pistols in its class is the fact it is technically a double-action, single action pistol. This means that the first shot is long while all subsequent shots will be shorter. This long initial trigger pull essentially acts as a safety in and of itself, since the pistol has a lesser chance of going off with a long trigger pull than a short one.

The PT111 G2 comes installed with three dot sights, with the rear sight being adjustable. It also features a loaded chamber indicator blade behind the ejection port that flips up when the gun is chambered. Not only does this give you a visual representation that the pistol is ready to fire, but you also can physically feel the indicator in the dark should you not be able to see it.

As with all Taurus handguns, the PT111 G2 comes installed with Taurus’ trademark security system. A pair of keys ship with the gun and when you use it to turn a lock on the right side of the slide, the entire pistol will lock up and be rendered useless until you turn it back. You can store the gun knowing that a child or a burglar won’t be able to fire the weapon.

You’re getting a lot of gun for the money with the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2. If you want a dependable pistol for home defense, concealed carry or personal protection in general but are on a budget, the PT111 G2 is a superb option and excellent value.

Have you ever shot the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2? Share your thoughts about it in the section below:

Make Your Own Ammo! Read More Here.

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  1. FULLY adjustable (windage / elevation) sights ? Now THAT alone makes it worthy of consideration, ammunitiob requires zeroing and that feature makes it much easier to shoot.

    • Fully adjustable sights are great for target shooting, but in self defense situations, you need to be proficient at ‘point and shoot’ shooting without using sights at all. Self defense situations are all close range, mostly within 15 or so feet.

      • Fair enough observations (sights being not so relevant when stressed), but in between those self defense situations, it sure is nice being able to adjust your point of aim to hit where they are, vs. knowing your bullet impact will be here and there according to the ammunition.

        This is a gun which allows you to take advantage of that – I like that !

    • glock clone with more features at half the price whats not to like ?

  2. Great CCW weapon. I have owned one since they first came out on the market. Very accurate, easy to handle, have only had a few FTF…..probably cheap ammo. Overall,,,,a great gun. Taurus has a winner here!!

  3. Personally I prefer the Bersa Thunder. Never had any problems. It’s a .380 but that is still good enough to take out an opponent. The low kickback means you can stay on target better. Has nice features for concealed carry. Under $250 if you shop around.

  4. Taurus? Skip it. Get the Bersa in a 9mm.

    Try the bersa thunder pro ultra compact. Even with my large hands it fits well, is very accurate (better than I ever will be) and seems to run and run and run no matter what I feed it. 13rd mag’s.

    Light enough recoil even my 13 year old and wife like it.

    I’ve teamed mine with a nice horsehide Crossbreed IWB supertuck holster and haven’t looked back, very, very nice and comfortable.

  5. My wife and I each have one of these (Taurus Millennium PT-111 G2’s). We like them fine!
    Important inexpensive upgrade information: head over to Lake Line LLC:
    and check out their $35 or $36 (stainless or black oxide finish to match your slide), machined from solid _stainless steel_ Guide Rod / Recoil Spring sets. Comes with TWO sets of recoil springs, one set for now, and the other set for some however many thousands of rounds later on down the road. (It is normal business for professional / competition shooters to have to replace recoil springs and such as they go through enormous amounts of ammo, wearing out such parts in very short order. Regular home defense / concealed carry use means far longer times will pass before replacement springs and such are ever needed, but it still eventually happens if you practice much at all. The inexpensive stainless steel guide rod is a solid improvement over the factory version.)
    Also check out their $39.95 Fiber Optic sights. They even have tritium (glow in the dark) night sights, but I don’t know how many people would want to invest $89 for night sights on a $200 firearm. The factory sights are fine but having a low cost upgrade path is certainly nice. Note that the rear sights are not elevation adjustable like the factory sights are. (No up /down elevation adjustment, only windage side to side. Factory sights are both windage and elevation adjustable.)
    YouTube has overwhelmingly positive reviews on both the Taurus Millennium PT-111 G2 and the Lake Line llc upgrades, along with how-to videos for installing the guide rod / recoil spring sets and how to install the sights and such. The combination of the firearm itself _and_ these low cost aftermarket upgrades make this quite a deal even for those who want to tune their firearm a bit. Aftermarket parts availability is a real plus.
    +P ammo is not recommended for longest service life, and +P+ is a no-no. Says so right in the manual. The guide rod / recoil spring set is the only known weakness for some percentage of owners, presumably from at least some not reading or otherwise following the standard pressure ammo only recommendation. $35 or $36 for the stainless steel guide rod and recoil spring set from Lakeline positively settles that _potential_ issue rather well in any case. Most people don’t seem to have a problem with this model firearm, but those that do all seem to be complain about that easily rectified guide rod / recoil spring issue.
    Doing my homework before buying anything meant no surprises, and so I am passing that along to you all here. Spending some research time at YouTube to see what actual owners of these products have to say will illustrate what I am talking about above, and I of course recommend doing that too. Anyone interested can also review the PT-111 / PT-140 owners manual right here:
    IMPORTANT: Visit and see how you can get a FREE one year NRA membership by sending in a copy of your receipt and the label off of the box your new gun comes in. A nice plus if you are buying one of their firearms anyway. (They had a $50 mail-in rebate going on when my wife and I bought both of ours, but that was way back in late 2015. That is how I refer to these as $200 handguns. That is all they cost _us_. 🙂
    While you are at YouTube, search for “Ammo Quest: 9mm” (minus the quotes). A guy going by the handle of “ShootingTheBull410″ did well documented tests on a fairly long list of 9mm ammo brands and types, specifically using a subcompact little handgun with a 3 inch barrel for all testing. (The PT-111 G2 has a 3.2” barrel). Accurate measurements of velocities in feet per second and penetration tests in done ballistic gel, with and without 4 layers of heavy denim, following all FBI and IBWA protocols, is very interesting to see out of a short barrel little handgun like most people actually carry, as opposed to most tests done with much larger handguns with longer 4 to 5 inch barrels. If you want to hear the word “perfect” used a lot, check out his review of the 124 grain Federal Premium HST’s (standard pressure, not the +P’s of course. 🙂 Odds are pretty good that if you already have a preferred 9mm type /weight / brand, it is included in his list of 9mm ammo testing reviews somewhere.
    And that is about all the information I could possibly stuff into a tiny little comment box. Cheers!

  6. Anon 2-9-17 here – I ended up purchasing one of these pistols, a duo tone model for the reasonable price of $275. Shot it yesterday.

    Loading the magazines is a BEAR ! The manual instructs to fully load at least 48 hours for springs to begin to wear in. I could only load about six before calling it quits to shoot. Definitely needs work there. I did not use any loading tool aids, so that would probably help a lot.

    Trigger pull is a bit too long, I kept anticipating when it would fire. Did not help accuracy, which was ‘meh’ with Winchester 115 FMJ. Better ammuntion will likely be better.

    Other than that – handy gun. But oh those magazines . . .

  7. I recently bought the Taurus G2 9mm for $199! So far it has been an amazing gun for the price, I really like it. I can’t seem to see how it’s a double/single action though? I thought it was when I bought it however at the range, myself and the range officer, couldn’t figure out a way to have it chambered and be in double action for the first shot?! So when I rack a round it automatically defaults to single action and their is no de-cocker so it always shoots single action. Anyone have any input on this? Thanks.
    I will say for the $ this gun can’t be beat but my favorite handgun is the IWI Jericho Polymer Frame 9mm. I have Glocks and Springfield and Browning, etc. but the IWI is my go to disaster gun!
    Thanks to O.T.G.N. also!

    • The way the manual explains the trigger pull(s), the gun functions normally until a round has a misfire (primer does not detonate). The ‘double action’ then allows you to pull the trigger again, hopefully firing the round. Other automatics, you HAVE to either cycle the slide or manually pull the hammer to cock it.

      That is my limited understanding of how that works.

      I’m tickled to death myself. I was sorry I had not picked up a Star BK or BKM 9mm years back. One of my favorites is the Star PD, a six shot .45ACP. This pistol is extremely similar in size and weight, only having fully adjustable sights and double the magazine capacity. Cool!

      • I was pleased to see you mention the old Star PD .45. Years ago I had my FFL and sold many of ghem to city cops as their bug for $100. They were great little guns.

    • The PT 111 IS a DA/SA. When you carry it in Condition 1, the chambered round is ready to go. in SA mode. You must, and need to have the safety in the ON position when holstered to negate a negligent discharge since their is no way to decock. When you’re ready to fire, you disengage the safety and fire. The first round goes off, and subsequent rounds are DA. Now, before you think, “DUH” (since I presume you may know that), as this sounds like any other DA, here is how the SA mode works again. If the next round chambered does not fire due to a bad spot on the primer, there is NO NEED to rerack the slide to clear. Simply pull the trigger, and the PT 111 will fire again hammering the primer a 2nd time clearing the round and chambering the next. With a standard DA only, you must rereack your pistol, and clear the round before you can fire again. Hope that helps all who read. Stay focused. Be blessed and safe. Peace…..

      • ** Apologize, inadvertantly swapped letters. It should have read, “how the DA works again”, and “with a standard SA only”, not DA….. My bad…..

  8. ** Apologize….. I inadvertantly transposed letters. It was meant to read, “here is how the DA mode works again”, and, “With a standard SA only…”. My bad….

  9. The G2 also accepts/runs Mecgar Sig P226 magazines as well w/o issue. I ran one in mine and used it as a b/u mag.

  10. This is good news.
    Many years ago, a guy in a gun shop was relentlessly trying to up-sell me.
    I resisted and he pulled out the argument “Well, how much is your life worth?”

    “Right around three hundred, three fifty tops” was my response.

    I was seeking a used reliable DA revolver so my expectations weren’t unreasonable.
    I went to another shop.

  11. This is what I carry – a Kahr CT380 in .380acp, a DAO w/ 3″ barrel, two 7+1 Single Stack Mags, weight unloaded 14 ozs – can be had for $260.00; and the new Kahr ST9 in 9mm, a DAO w/ 4″ barrel, two 8+1 Single Stack Mags, weight unloaded 20 ozs – can be had for $347.00. Both reliable, excellent carry handguns!

  12. Another good SA hand gun at a reasonable price is the SAR B6P made in Turkey. It is a CZ75 clone. Bought one for $250 just for fun and loved it. It shoots great and is now my carry gun. I love my Taurus PT 100 in 40 S&W but it had a lot of miles on it. I liked the B6P so much that I bought a second one. It is a little hard to find additional mags but found them at They had them on sale at CDNN Sports. Polymer bottom with steel slide and 16 round mag. I have many much more expensive guns but love these. The grip is a little large for my very petite daughter but she can still shoot it fine. At $250

  13. I own 2 Taurus pt 809 c . They are 9 mm double action autos. After shooting them for accuracy , they were returned to Taurus with a complete description on how they shot. When their armer called to say they shot fine, I politely informed him that a 12 in. grouping at 7yds. Is not fins and to read the note I sent. After the fixes from Taurus and my tuneups they will both make clovers at 10yds. with descent ammo.

  14. The PT111 G2 is a great gun. I have had one since 2015. I did send it back to Taurus as I broke off the safety blade on the trigger but they fixed it quickly. Unfortunately recently I broke it off again but instead of sending it back to Taurus I replaced it with a trigger form a guy on you tube called “keep tinkering”. It is greatly improved as it does not have as long a lag and is smoother. It does not have the safety on it but I shoot it more accurately.

  15. I have carried a Colt 45 Officer for over 20 years then a Glock 23 for 5 years and a few different 357 in between, just last year I bought the pt 111 g2 Love it. It’s like a Glock and a S&W M&P had a baby and it came with two mags only paid $ 199.00 plus tax

  16. I know some will not agree and that’s ok. I carry a Glock, but only kind of handgun that I would use for inside the home for defense would be the Taurus Judge. Basically it’s a subcompact shotgun when laoded with 410 shotgun shells, and you have more movability then you would have with a regular shotgun plus having one in each hand makes you double dangerous.

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